I really need some help. I feel like I've done everything wrong.
I have been co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand since my 8 month old daughter was born. She and I sleep in her room, on a mattress on the floor. My husband sleeps in a different room, partly because he sleepwalks which is unsafe, and partly because he needs rest for work.
Anyway our situation is unbearable and I feel like it is killing me. I know that sounds overdramatic but it's true. I can't remember the last time I actually fell asleep. I must doze off here and there or else I'd be dead by now, but I never actually sleep deeply enough to lose track of time passing, and it's driving me insane.
My daughter nurses all night. ALL NIGHT. I cannot leave her side, or pull the nipple away, or she starts fussing immediately. When I try to pat her back and sing to her to put her to sleep without the nipple, she escalates to hysterics. She has two teeth now, and I am afraid that the constant nursing will rot her teeth as they come in if this keeps up. Not to mention that my nipples are so sore - they were not meant to be used for hours at a time! She will not take a pacifier either, I feel bad to admit that I even tried it, but I did. No luck.
When she cries like that...I've tried other ways of getting her back to sleep but I am always so tired that I just let her nurse so that I can lie down.
Speaking of which, I don't know how some moms sleep while nursing. I find it so painful for my hips and back! And holding those positions for hours all night hurts so much. Actually my whole body hurts - I think it's just falling apart. Each morning I find it harder to move. All my muscles are sore as if I've run a marathon (and I know - I've done it a few times, in my previous life). I think that the daily wear and tear just never heals because my body never gets a break. I am disintegrating.
I have no idea where to start making a change or how; we have a crib we've never used but when she's fallen asleep for naps in her sling, I have tried to put her down in the crib to sleep and she is always awake within a couple of minutes.
All of this is making me angry and crazy, and I hate my husband for no reason other than that he gets to sleep by himself, which is obviously unfair of me. He would help if he could. He takes our daughter for walks on his days off, but I`ve never been able to nap so I just end up using the time to clean up the house. If you know how to fall asleep quickly, I`d try it.
I read Dr Sears` "nighttime Parenting" which seemed to be a long-winded defense of breastfeeding and cosleeping, as if they would solve all my problems. NO! I think those things are the causes of my problems! Which is insane because how can they be wrong? If breastfeeding and cosleeping feel so natural then how can they be wrong? It feels so terrible to let my daughter cry alone in her room. I can't believe that is the right answer.
I read "the no-cry sleep solution" as well but it all seems to hinge on recording everything during the night. I guess I haven't given that a fair shot yet but it seems like a lot of work.
I am afraid to do anything harsh because I don't want to hurt my daughter, but I feel this is ruining my life and my marriage. Each night I literally wonder if I am going to die from lack of sleep, like maybe my body will just run out or something, and I have begun to look forward to that rest. We don't want to have any more kids anymore because we do not want to deal with this again, but even with just one...it feels like it's never going to end. I don't know how anyone can manage this, or why I am doing so poorly. Why I can't do it. I don't know what to do differently or where to get the energy to begin.
I don't know where I went wrong but I know I trapped myself here...somehow I dug this grave.
Thank you for reading this. I think it will make me feel not so alone, just sharing it, but if you know where I can look for help that would be a bonus.